Family Law Appeals
Livingston Matrimonial & Family Attorneys Ready to Stand with You
In New Jersey, in light of the family court’s “special jurisdiction and expertise in family matters," its factual findings are generally accorded substantial deference by the Appellate Division. Cesare v. Cesare, 154 N.J. 394, 413 (1998). Moreover, as a general matter, where a trial court’s findings are “supported by adequate, substantial, credible evidence," such findings are binding on appeal. Id. at 411-412.
As such, to succeed in an appeal of a family court decision based upon an error of fact, one must generally demonstrate that the court’s findings were “manifestly unsupported by or inconsistent with the competent, relevant and reasonably credible evidence as to offend the interests of justice." Fagliarone v. No. Bergen, 78 N.J. Super. 154, 155 (App. Div. 1963). Conversely, a trial court’s misapplication or misinterpretation of a legal standard is not entitled to any special deference such that the Appellate Division may review same “de novo” (“starting from the beginning” or “anew”).
If you believe that your family court decision meets these requirements, then we invite you to contact Ziegler, Resnick & Epstein today. Call (973) 878-4373 to speak with our Livingston matrimonial & family lawyers today.
"When Should I Appeal?"
Final orders or judgments of the trial court are appealable as of right, whereas to appeal an interlocutory (provisional) order, one must seek permission from the Appellate Division. As judicial policy “favors an uninterrupted proceeding at the trial level with a single and complete review," leave to appeal an interlocutory order will be granted "in the exceptional case where, on a balance of interests, justice suggests need for review in advance of final judgment." State v. Reldan, 100 N.J. 187, 205 (1985); Cardinale Trucking Corp. v. Motor-Rail Co., 56 N.J. Super. 150, 152 (App. Div. 1959).
Where a party seeks to vacate or set aside an agreement (such as a Marital or Property Settlement Agreement), they must meet the exacting standard of New Jersey Court Rule 4:50-1 which provides that an agreement may be voided, generally, due to mistake, excusable neglect, fraud, or where enforcement of the agreement would be inequitable or oppressive.
Seeking the Remedy You Deserve
At Ziegler, Resnick & Epstein, our attorneys are experienced at navigating the complex New Jersey appellate system and can assist you in developing a strategy for a successful appeal. Not every firm is equipped to see through this process for its clients, but our team is prepared to bring a robust, thoughtful approach towards seeking a fair judgment in your case.
We're ready to help you explore your post-trial options. Contact us today to request a case evaluation with our knowledgeable legal advocates.